July 31st, 2009
05:59 PM ET
5 years ago

White House mocks coverage of 'Beer Summit'

(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday mocked the media's coverage of what has been termed the 'Beer Summit' with President Obama, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Sergeant James Crowley.

"I'm going to go off the cuff for a little bit," Gibbs told reporters during the White House daily briefing. "My favorite was - I'm going to have to pick on my good friends at NBC - 'Ale to the Chief' was the icon…complete with a countdown clock to 6:00."

"But here was the topper," Gibbs continued in a disbelieving tone, drawing chuckles from the press corps. "Not only are we calling it the 'Beer Summit.' In stories, [it was] interspersed with other 'summits' of the White House, including footage of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat."

Hours before the so-called 'Beer Summit' took place Thursday, President Obama also made light of the media's treatment of the event.

"I noticed this has been called the 'Beer Summit.' It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys," Obama told reporters Thursday. "This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. And that's really all it is. This is not a university seminar."


Filed under: Robert Gibbs
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. C W

    This is what I love about our President – his feet are firmly on the ground and he's not distracted by the obsession of the media and public to turn every little thing into some kind of crisis, event, latest thing since sliced bread, etc.

    That said, I hope the three gentlemen enjoyed each other's company and were able to openly and honestly discuss their perspectives and concerns and come to an understanding. Given what I know about these men, I'm confident they did.

    July 31, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Really???

    Why is this even in the news? Why did the President of the United States actually feel that he was responsible to intercede in a disorderly conduct charge? There is no reason this should ever have made such headlines like it did. Thank you CNN for trying to tell me what I should care about and thank you for also allowing me to change the channel when items that are not actually news are covered.

    July 31, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. cabianni

    You, Mr. President are the one who made this a JOKE.

    July 31, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Mitch

    Oh sure...Gibbs "off the cuff." Not a chance. This Admin is more scripted than any that has preceded it. I'm surprised Obama didn't have his usual teleprompter at the picnic table.

    July 31, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. yuri

    The stern faced Crowley and the relaxed Gates did present a striking contrast. Crowley's press conference was jejune and rapidly vapid. He reminded us of ostrich.

    July 31, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Obama is not my Hero

    Obama cannot count. There were actually four people there including Biden. Just thought you should know that so take that with you.

    July 31, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    It really was stupid coverage by the state run media, covering the results of a stupid remark made by a stupid president.

    July 31, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Peter E

    The media coverage for the 'beer summit' was by far the most ridiculous, most wasteful use of news time of the past decade. The media deserves to be mocked!

    July 31, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. JonDie

    Pretty much everything the media puts out is mockable, that's for sure. CNN and FOX are among the worst in pushing its agenda rather than reporting on the news.

    Oh I hear Sarah Palin is NOT going to California to speak. But I didn't catch what she had for breakfast this morning. When will CNN report this fascinating and important event?

    July 31, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Limbaugh is a liberal

    There wouldn't even have been a 'beer summit' if the media didn't blow one sentence out of Obama's hour-long conference on health care way out of proportion. All the media needs to be fired and made to retake classes in journalism!

    July 31, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. D. Tree

    I'm glad we can all laugh now.

    July 31, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. A B C

    President Obama and his Administration is a BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

    July 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. JK

    Notice Obama said "three folks" having a drink at the end of the day. Pictures show there were four there. Has Biden been marginalized that much already that he doesn't count? Works for me.

    But, these guys are right to mock the media. They are a bunch of court jackals with absolutely no objectivity left.

    July 31, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Walter Wilson

    The media that should be mocked is CNN's telecasts. It's almost as if whomever was in charge of journalistic news reporting was replaced by sensational tabloid stories for the sake of ratings. CNN may temporarily raise some ad revenue, but will ultimately lose the News market, me included.

    July 31, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    It could be worse. It could be yet more about Michael Jackson or Sarah Palin. Frankly, I'm relieved to have the media focusing on something else for a change, however inane.

    July 31, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. LacrosseMom

    For several weeks CNN has posted similar headlines....

    "Obama mocks cop"

    Then.....

    "Obama mocks Newsweek"

    And...... now...... "White House mocks coverage of beer summit"

    Need some new adjectives CNN???

    July 31, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. some gurl

    The media sucks...shame on them.
    Edward R. Murrow must be rolling over in his grave.
    Get back to Journalism people.

    July 31, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Luke Warmwater

    I wish the media was as interested in how Gates and the police officer got there....Did the taxpayers pick up the tab for the jet to fly them in.

    July 31, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Todd

    This is rediculous! Get Obama out of there before he totally destroys this country. Of course – you bleeding heart communist won't put this up.

    July 31, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Len in Washington

    "Mock" was the correct response to what the media did with this.

    Ridiculous.

    July 31, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. ender

    I personally like the idea of a "Beer Summit".

    Maybe if we had more of these people wouldn't be so quick to spew nonsence.

    Ie: Many of us need to relax a bit.

    July 31, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Greg

    Yes, I agree with the President and Gibbs regarding the media coverage of this joke/summit. For me though that also goes for the silly joke/scam/summit in the first place. Yes the media is sycophantic and asinine most of the time, but the President and gang uses this media arm to its fullest advantage; it's a creature of his creation as much as it is the medias being snafu.

    July 31, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. bill

    Can we move on please? 14,000 Americans lose their health care coverage every day. Where is the outrage?

    July 31, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    Gibbs shoukl be careful about "mocking" the media, especially since so many of them are hopelessy in love with their Messiah, Obama.

    July 31, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. elizabennet

    It was the most embarrassing thing to happen since Palin ran for VP. The media tripped over each other to alternately fawn, snark, pick and inflame. It was one big slapfest among media types whose only reason to exist its to hear themselves yammer away about the least thing. This idiotic subject would have died after a day if media types had not decided it was indicative of huge character flaws and personal vendettas.

    July 31, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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